Don’t sit on your hands!
Bottom line up front (BLUF): I am going to ask you most imperatively to write your congressmen – NOW! I am also going to ask you to share this on all your social networks. If you already understand what the loss of ICANN means to our freedom of speech and freedom of association, click here to get right to it. Otherwise, read on.
If Congress had done its job to begin with, representing the American people and not foreign interests, this post would not be necessary. But they didn’t. No surprise. The legislature has been run by the Four Morons of the American Political Apocalypse for decades. (That would be MConnel, Reid, Pelosi and Boehner – now Ryan. I refer often to these non-entities throughout this site.). These four are not interested in anything that benefits the American people. They are the ineffectual rubber stamps for all things favoring the state, their wallets and their incumbency.
This week a court ruled against a lawsuit brought to prevent our surrender of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). As a nation, we are giving up one of the greatest safe houses of freedom and most important American advantages (one we have not abused, by the way) of the last century.
Why the F**K would we give up ICANN?
ICANN is one of the painfully few things this country has done right. It is one of the only things the government has left alone. Even when Obama was turning the IRS dogs on conservatives to squelch their message, no one messed with ICANN. Basically, everyone knows that messing with ICANN for political gain would result in the opposition doing the same to you. So the government allowed the system to operate without interference.
Further, ICANN has been an amazingly honest broker in the assignment of domain names internationally. You search the name you want, if it is available, you pay a very small fee and you get the name, no matter who you are. Being a non-profit, government entity with nothing to gain has allowed ICANN to grow and function with incredible success for 47 years. There is no defensible reason to take control of ICANN from where it is today. Everyone benefits from it in the same way. The system works.
But there are businesses and foreign interests who see power and profit in wresting control of the system from the United States. There is no shortage of political whores who would gladly exchange power and money to provide this gem to them. Unless something happens very quickly those foreign interests will take control of one of the most valuable assets we have. And the way you interact with the world electronically will change.
To demonstrate, let’s look at some of the rhetoric behind the change. The two following quotes come from U.S. News & World Report
ICANN’s decentralization “should demonstrate that a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder consensus process can produce outcomes that are good for the internet”, vice-president Sally Shipman Wentworth of The Internet Society (IANA), an independent organization involved in the process, told Motherboard.
What “bottom-up” process is this idiot talking about. There is no bottom-up now. There is only one entity behaving as an honest broker for everyone. If the system is placed in the hands of any for-profit or foreign entity, there will still be no bottom-up ANYTHING at work. There will only be those people gaming the system for monetary or political advantage. They will be able to control the net with a simple yes or no to anyone seeking a domain name.
But “the status quo was no longer sustainable,” Mr Chehadé told Motherboard. The global nature of the internet “made it incredibly hard for ICANN to continue doing its critical role under the control of one party, whoever that party is, whether it is a government or a company”, he said.
What the F**K is so unsustainable with the existing system. Like other opportunistic political hacks, proponents of removing ICANN from the Department of Commerce have applied the label “unsustainable” to a system they do not control, but do covet.
Go back and look at the first quote again. ‘Multi-stakeholder?” Just who are these multi-stakeholders? Is it everyone on the Web? I seriously doubt it. There is a group called the Global Internet Community which met in Dublin last October. I am sure many of them think they should be running ICANN on behalf of the entire world of web users. You see, “stakeholder” is a romantic word for bureaucrat. These particular bureaucrats want to turn the internet into a giant socialist state, where “supposedly” everyone would get a say in how the system is run. That, of course, won’t last long. But these very smart people think they will be there to run the bureaucracy in place of the existing system.
It will matter little. Once ICANN loses the protection of the Department of Commerce and the the laws the govern it right now ( Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), the system will be easy prey for China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, along with less than honest corporations. They will devour the “bottom-up”, “multi-stakeholder”, idealistic and utterly directionless mess that results.
The obvious danger
Let’s say Russia, China and Saudi Arabia teamed up with a well-connected criminal element like, oh, perhaps Hillary Clinton. It would be child’s play for them to wrest control of the net from a starry-eyed group of idealists and make it look like a beneficent act for world understanding. However, do you think you’d be able to set up a name like Teapartyactivists.org? How about gayrightsinarabia.org? Do you think a comedy site called Putinisanidiot.com would get off the ground? No. And that’s all they’d have to do to diminish opposition.
Oh, and by the way, you can kiss $10 domain fee good-bye.
But with technology being what it is, they could also use their authority to spy on you and destroy your work.
This is Newt Gingrich on Twitter:
Every American should worry about Obama giving up control of the internet to an undefined group. This is very, very dangerous.
This is our last shot. It is 15 June. We have until September to stop this nonsense. Under existing law, ICANN will lose all protection in September. Write your congressman now. Chastise him for not acting sooner and tell him to introduce emergency legislation to keep ICANN and IANA in place. We would be idiots to give up control of Domain assignment.
Some of you are not convinced. Some have heard BHO extol the virtues of this loss of virtue to international players. We are told no one will take advantage of this change of stewardship. I will ask you to look at the following quotes from people who support giving up control of the internet. I collected these from various news sites. They feature Clinton, Obama and Kerry.
“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future.” ~ “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.” ~ “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” ~ “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” ~ “A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative – because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens, or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state.” ~ “This tunnel will be a bargain.” ~ “After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” ~ “Most importantly, I never sent classified material on my email and I never received any that was marked classified.” ~ “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”~ “I am 100 percent confident. This is a security review that was requested. It is being carried out. It will be resolved. But I have to add if there’s going to be a security review about me, there’s going to have to be security reviews about a lot of other people, including Republican office holders, because we’ve got this absurd situation of retroactive classifications.”
These are all quotes on random subjects from people who support the change in ICANN’s status. All of those quotes were not accidental inaccuracies or spin. They were outright lies. They were dead opposite of truth and reality. All the lies listed, I could have gone on for pages, were about important issues. Those same unethical individuals tell us we have nothing to worry about regarding the release of ICANN to parties with agendas. They tell us nothing will change for the net users. Why am I not confident?
This last quote, from the Daily Dot, starts with an attempt to skew the argument. It should say “all thinking people who understand the strong, objective record of Domain Name System (DNS) are concerned…” But the upshot of the quote is accurate, if understated.
Conservatives are concerned that the transition imperils the apolitical nature of the DNS root zone, the highest level of DNS routing information on the Internet. DNS is hierarchical: When a computer asks DNS how to access a website, its query goes to a mid-level DNS server that returns information based on its own checking with the root zone’s servers. If the root zone were compromised—say, if China lobbied to remove information about accessing .xxx domains—the spillover effects would be extraordinary.
Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!
Find 16 20 24 on Amazon.
Find 16 20 24 at Barnes & Noble